Since the release of the first Harry Potter novel in 1997, J.K. Rowling has become one of the most successful authors in history. Is she left-handed?
J.K. Rowling is right-handed. As a prominent author, there are numerous photographs of Rowling signing autographs. These photos show Rowling writing with her right hand exclusively. There are also no confirmed left-handed characters in the Harry Potter novels, although the US covers depict Potter as left-handed.
For more on J.K. Rowling’s handedness and the confusion caused by the US Harry Potter covers, keep reading.
It isn’t always clear whether a celebrity is right or left-handed. Some celebs have been spotted using both hands in various situations, or have used their opposite hand for screen roles, such as Maisie Williams in her role as left-handed Arya Stark in “Game of Thrones”.
Fortunately, J.K. Rowling is not an actor so there’s far less conflicting information than in the cases of some of her counterparts.
Additionally, Rowling is one of the most famous authors in the world, if not the most famous altogether. Her novels have sold more than 500 million copies globally and she has been very forthright in her engagement with her readers and the general public.
One advantage of Rowling’s global popularity and prominence is that there are countless photos of the author signing copies of her books. All of these images tell the same story: that J.K. Rowling writes exclusively with her right hand when signing her autograph.
This is probably sufficient evidence to say with confidence that Rowling is right-handed, especially as there is nothing to suggest otherwise.
On the rare occasions that we’ve seen Rowling holding an item other than a pen or a copy of one of her books, she has also used her right hand.
Surprisingly, we couldn’t find any photos of Rowling holding a wand, perhaps confirming her Muggle status, but a classic image of the author does show her holding a broomstick over her shoulder. The broomstick is in her right hand, further proof of her handedness, though it doesn’t look particularly well streamlined for flight.
In 2001, Rowling was awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE), one of the highest honors a UK citizen can receive. A photo of the author proudly holding up her medal, posted to her official website, shows her clearly holding it in her right hand.
With all this evidence, there can be little doubt that J.K Rowling is one of the right-handed majority.
Some Harry Potter fans, particularly in the United States, were left confused after reading the books and looking at the covers. Due to the novels having different publishers depending on the region: Bloomsbury in the UK and Scholastic in the US, they also had unique covers depending on the region.
The covers for the Scholastic editions in the US were illustrated by American artist Mary GrandPré. GrandPré was born in South Dakota and studied at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, graduating in 1981.
She was one of the very select few people allowed to read the Harry Potter novels before they were published, working on all seven of the books. She has also met J.K. Rowling, though the two have not interacted as part of the creative process.
GrandPré’s covers have one common feature that raised some eyebrows: Harry is portrayed as holding his wand in his left hand.
Observant Harry Potter fans have pointed out that Harry’s right-handedness is established in the first novel when he goes to Ollivanders to buy his first wand. When asked which hand is his “wand hand”, he replies that he is right-handed.
Whether this was a creative decision by GrandPré or a result of her art being mirrored isn’t clear but Harry, like his creator, is not left-handed.